Isle of Man team Ellan Vannin pull out of CONIFA World Football Cup

ConIFA logo, World Football Cup
Image: The 16-team CONIFA World Football Cup tournament is being played at non-league grounds across London

Isle of Man team Ellan Vannin have pulled out of the CONIFA World Football Cup after losing an appeal over the eligibility of a rival player.

On Sunday, Ellan Vannin failed to qualify for the quarter-finals of the 16-team tournament for non-FIFA affiliated international sides, which is being staged at non-league grounds across London.

A 2-0 defeat to 'hosts' Barawa at Coles Park in Haringey saw the Manx team edged into third place on goal difference in the final Group A standings.

However, Ellan Vannin then lodged a challenge over the eligibility of Barawa's Mohamed Bettamer, claiming the forward should not have been allowed to register as an additional player after the tournament had started.

Bettamer, who scored in Sunday's match, has previously played international football for Libya and has also appeared in African Champions League matches.

Action during the CONIFA World Football Cup 2018 match between Barawa v Tamil Eelam at Bromley on May 31, 2018 in London, England. (Photo by Con Chronis/CONIFA)
Image: Barawa, who are tournament 'hosts', finished top of Group A (Photo by Con Chronis/CONIFA)

CONIFA rejected the Ellan Vannin challenge following a vote of the organisation's tournament management committee on Monday.

The Manx team were due to play a placement round fixture against Tibet at Bromley on Tuesday but chose to withdraw. Tibet have been handed a 3-0 victory as a result of Ellan Vannin's forfeit.

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A statement issued by CONIFA on Tuesday read: "The Confederation of Independent Football Associations (CONIFA) has been informed that Ellan Vannin has withdrawn from the 2018 World Football Cup.

"Ellan Vannin's withdrawal comes following a vote of the tournament management committee on Monday 4 June, which rejected a challenge by Ellan Vannin to the eligibility of a Barawa player.

"Ellan Vannin's remaining fixtures in the tournament will be fulfilled by other opponents. For tournament bracket purposes, Tibet's match today will be treated as a 3-0 win."

The CONIFA World Football Cup continues on Tuesday, with quarter-final fixtures and placement round matches taking place at Sutton, Bracknell, Bromley, Enfield and Aveley. Tickets cost £11 for adults, and £5.50 for Under-18s.

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